Video ads come in many shapes and sizes, and it’s a great idea to explore them all. Not only are more businesses than ever using video, they’re using them in fun, creative, and innovative ways.

When most businesses think of “video ads,” the tendency is to think of “advertisements.” You know, commercials. Of course the straightforward product ad will always have a place in your video marketing. You are trying to sell things after all. However, some of the best pieces of video content shy away from the direct sale approach.

The truth is, any time you engage with customers you are advertising in a sense. Every point of interaction is an extension of your brand’s image, products, or mission. To that extent, every video ad IS an advertisement for your product, it just may not be a “hey, buy this” sort of video.

With that in mind, here are 5 great marketing videos that will help inspire your next batch of video ads.

BMW Does a Driftmob

Why It Works

Although it’s three years old, DMW’s “Epic Driftmob” video still has the most views on the prestigious carmaker’s YouTube channel (15 million!). Lest you think it got all those views simply by being older, think again. BMW has plenty of older videos on their channel and none come close to Epic Driftmob’s 15 million views. In fact, the second most viewed video comes in at 6.7 million views and is just as old.

The BMW M235i is all over this video, but not in the way you’d expect from a car ad. Think of any car commercial you’ve seen and they all tend to have a few things in common. Close-up shots of the interior, an explanation of features, a rundown of their awards and safety ratings.

This video has none of that. In fact, despite the fact that the cars are all over this video, we don’t get a solid, prolonged look at them as they maneuver around the scene. This video ad showcases the handling and performance of the vehicle without saying “hey, come buy this.”

What You Can Take Away

This video was made with the intent to go viral, and it certainly did. Every car enthusiast saw it and shared it with other car enthusiasts. You may have even seen it yourself and shared it with the car lover in your life.

This is a video that you can imagine someone sharing with you on Facebook while saying “hey, check out this cool video.” Cool videos are good. They get views.

Dollar Shave Club

Why It Works

Unlike BMW, this video is basically a comedic elevator pitch for Dollar Shave Club’s service. It hits all the important parts in one, long narrating video. What is the product, how does it work, why is it good, and why is it better than the competition.

However, rather than being a “ho-hum” commercial, this video ad presents the information in a fun, quirky, and engaging way. It’s silly, a little over the top, and presents a seemingly simple product in an extravagant and aggrandized way.

What’s more, it sticks with you.

What You Can Take Away

While there’s certainly some production values to be had, this video didn’t break the bank. The main actor is the company founder which helps put a face to the company and the most expensive prop is probably a bear costume.

This video goes to show that even simple commercials can be presented in fun and engaging ways. In fact, you can rewatch the video several times for the funny narration and hardly realize that you’re being pitched a service over and over again.

Best of all? It worked. I myself signed up for Dollar Shave Club after watching this video. That was four years ago and my subscription is still going.

Purple’s Raw Egg Test

Why It Works

If you haven’t seen this one then you haven’t been on Facebook in the last two years. With over 165 million views, Purple’s Raw Egg test takes a typical mattress commercial and makes it fun, informative, and interesting.

You may be hard pressed to find a story more widely known than that of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Why is Goldilocks promoting a mattress? Because she was looking for one that was “juuuuuust right.”

It just wouldn’t make as much sense if Goldilocks was promoting a car, for example. In fact, she’s pretty limited to mattresses, chairs, or porridge. Given the 165 million views, Goldilocks probably made the right choice.

This video hits all the important parts. It promotes the product using a fun and engaging spokesperson and goes the extra mile with an over the top demonstration. What’s more, after the value has been established, the price point is framed as a massive discount compared to competing products.

What You Can Take Away

This is another video that didn’t break the bank. At its heart, it really is just a product demonstration video wrapped up in a quirky presentation with a fun angle. It’s the angle and presentation that make the difference. Had this just been a “normal” spokesperson without the twist it would not have been as successful. Thinking outside the box and being creative can pay off.

Apple iPhone X

Why It Works

Apple has a built-in and loyal fanbase so the 35 million views on a video that’s less than a year old isn’t surprising. However, Apple has achieved a great video ad in many ways. First, it showcases the product in a beautiful and elegant way. Second, it informs the audience as to what they can expect from this new version.

What You Can Take Away

Product demonstration and explainer videos can go a long way to informing your audience, alleviating common questions or hesitations, and at the same time showing/demonstrating why your product is great and what people can expect.

Apple certainly has deep enough pockets to produce a video with fireworks, celebrities, and whatever else they want. Instead they went with a simple, classy, and straightforward approach. This video didn’t break Apple’s bank in the slightest, but it achieved its goal.

Shopify “Draw The Owl”

Why It Works

Remember, not every video ad is simply meant to sell products to customers. Recruitment videos are also an effective way to promote your brand while also sourcing talent. This recruitment video ad from Shopify plays on a popular and funny internet meme and showcases the company’s culture which can be described as playful yet resourceful.

What You Can Take Away

Recruitment videos such as this can go a long way towards promoting your brand while also letting the audience know you’re looking for a few good owl drawers. Errr employees. It’s fun, light, and makes use of real Shopify staff in order to convey the message.

This video ad isn’t looking for a specific position, but rather broadly pointing interested candidates towards the website’s career page. There’s also some not so subtle imagery at play. Did you notice the main recruiter is wearing a Shopify shirt the entire time?

This video promotes the culture of Shopify more than a specific open position, and it does so in a way that’s cute, playful, and interesting.

Ready To Make Your Next Video Ad?

Whether you’re looking to promote your brand, sell a product, demonstrate value, or find your next all-star employee, there’s a video ad for you. Any of the above examples are great places to start looking for ideas.

What all these videos have in common is that they appeal to the audience on more than a direct sale basis. They’re cool, inspiring, engaging, and informative. While most ads will always have a sale in mind, the best videos transcend the sale and can stand on their own merits.

 

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